Articles filed under Zoning/Planning from Michigan
Huron County officials are considering a five-year moratorium on wind development.
The Huron County Planning Commission will revisit the application by Huron Wind LLC (a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources) in November, once a map has been drawn that shows parcels whose owners want to opt out of the district.
Recent proposed amendments to the township’s 2013 wind ordinance would limit sound to 40 decibels (dBA) during the day, and 35 dBA at night for landowners who have wind turbines. For residents without turbines, the limit would be 35 dBA during the day, and 30 dBA at night.
The Sand Beach Township Planning Commission recently introduced amendments to its 2013 wind ordinance, which would limit sound to 40 decibels (dBA) during the day, and 35 dBA and night for landowners who have wind turbines.
About 12 people picketed outside with signs reading “2 Tall, 2 Many, 2 Close,” among others. Sally Kain of Meade Township was one of them ...“Huron County already has too many (turbines) and it’s time to stop,” she said. “We are already thoroughly saturated and we’ve met our quota.”
While currently governed by county zoning, Lincoln Township on Aug. 8 took action that would lead to formation of its own planning commission and master plan. One resolution passed imposes “a moratorium on the issuance of permits, licenses or approvals for … construction of wind energy systems.”
An issue that has been dividing both residents and public officials in Huron County will go before the Huron County Board of Commissioners for a vote Tuesday morning. Three consecutive public hearings will be held at the Huron Expo Center pertaining to a wind overlay district request by DTE Energy in Lincoln, Dwight, Sigel and Bloomfield townships, starting at 9:20 a.m.
The prospect of wind farms drew a curious crowd to a Wednesday night, Aug. 17, Galien Township Board meeting, though developers didn’t show up as many in the audience expected. News of the wind turbine farm proposal broke last month when Apex Clean Energy Co. officials held a meeting with area proparty owners.
After questions from Weesaw Township Trustee Gary Sommers about what they were going to do about the existing township ordinance, company representatives said they weren’t trying "to go around the township" but acknowledged they were going to first gather support from landowners.
The Almer Township Planning Commission held a public hearing Wednesday on proposed changes to its wind ordinance, but the board voted to table the matter after a motion called “disturbing” was put forth.
Members of the Ellington Township Board of Trustees took no action Tuesday night when several residents, along with a lawyer, urged them to toughen a township zoning ordinance regarding wind turbines – or face a lawsuit.
The group asserts Ellington Township Supervisor Duane Lockwood inappropriately made a motion to amend Ellington Township’s existing wind ordinance in January 2015. County records show that Lockwood’s company, Ellington Land Properties L.L.C., signed lease agreements with a wind developer in mid to late 2014.
The Huron County Planning Commission on Wednesday approved the district by a 7-2 vote in a packed Huron County District Courtroom. But voters could have the final say.
The second topic related to wind was filling a vacant planning commission seat. Filling the chair could help break the planning commission’s current 2-2 deadlock over changes to the wind ordinance. However, the board of trustees did not confirm Supervisor Duane Lockwood’s nominee.
BAD AXE — Bottom line: you cannot opt-out once the contract is signed.
Last Thursday, Michigan Wind 3, owned by Exelon Generation, filed the civil complaint against the township supervisor, planning commission chairman and clerk, claiming the postponement is illegal. The company is asking for an immediate ruling by the circuit court judge, ordering the township to hold the June 14 hearing.
Bridgehampton Township has delayed a decision on a special land use permit for a large wind farm development. The township planning board canceled a June public hearing for Exelon special land use permit at its Tuesday meeting. It tabled the hearing until after a referendum vote in August.
The county is considering lawyering up in response to a list of more than 50 residents asking to be excluded from an area being primed for a batch of 50 to 70 wind turbines. County attorney Stephen Allen this week said county commissioners should hire outside legal counsel to determine whether allowing that many residents to opt out would create spot zoning.
“We looked at the pros and the cons,” Haggerty said. “We’re trying to find a medium ground that everybody can live with and we felt we had found it with the current (setback) distances.” Haggerty and two other township trustees hold leases with Exelon.
After a lengthy discussion, an Almer Township Board meeting took a strange turn on Tuesday night when Planning Committee liaison Brian Schriber told the Board he felt they didn't need to enact a moratorium on special use permits for wind turbines as recommended on a 6-1 vote of the planning commission. A motion was made to follow Schriber's suggestion and passed with abstentions from Township Supervisor Jim Miklovic and Trustee Michael Putnam.